Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to start paying attention to text pirating issues?

I was checking my vanity search when I ran across a post in a blog called "China Green" that included this phrase:

My friend John Bredehoft has a post providing some background and asking the perceptive question Which do you fear more – business Big Brother, or government Big Brother?

It turns out that I am the John Bredehoft who is mentioned in the post, but I don't have any friend who has a blog called China Green.

So what happened?

China Green scraped the content of Jim Ulvog's Nonprofit Update blog. The original content is in this post.

(The citation of my post is a very minor portion of Ulvog's post, which looks at a number of privacy issues that have recently emerged - location tracking on iPhones and Android phones, the unencrypted nature of this data, and the Cellebrite technology concerns. Please read Ulvog's post and follow his links.)

Back to China Green. There are basically four ways in which someone like China Green can reference the work of someone like Jim Ulvog:
  • Link to the original work without quoting.

  • Link to the original work and include a brief quote.

  • Reproduce the entire original work and link to it.

  • Reproduce the entire original work without linking to it.

While there are differences of opinion regarding the acceptability of some of these methods, 99% of all people agree that the fourth way - the way used by China Green - is not acceptable practice.

The businesses set up by these content scrapers are not long-lasting - the "Tufts Health Insurance" blog that scraped my content no longer exists, and the profile of its author, "Think," is no longer available. Sadly, Chuck Tiber stopped updating his Bathroom Ideas" blog a month after being ripped off.

I should have put a tracking device on his phone.
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